In this modern age, film reviewing is no longer an ability limited to magazine correspondents and film critics. Anybody with a free blog or an IMDB account has the power to critique movies.
However, the internet is full of people who want to be heard but don’t want to put in the time to make their voice meaningful. Instead, they critique with little to no knowledge of the subject. They inundate social media and personal blogs with opinions and review things based on non-objective feelings. Thus we have website after website containing lackluster content—white noise to the world of the internet.
Perhaps you’re an avid enthusiast of the art of film, somebody who loves and appreciates it as more than mere entertainment. Perhaps you find yourself overwhelmed by the plethora of movie websites and film review blogs and have concluded that your own thoughts and viewpoints will just be added white noise.
But here’s the thing:
If your movie reviews are good, then they’ll cease to become white noise and will be added to the read and enjoyed material of the internet. IMDB is full of people who know absolutely nothing about movies. You can’t be simply another voice in the cosmos of the internet. You have to give your voice credibility. Only then will you be heard. This article offers advice on creating those reviews that will become the first step of making yourself known. It isn’t a sure-fire guarantee that you’ll create the next great film website; but, rather, a guarantee that your film reviews will contain meaning and understanding behind the subject.
- Determine effective story elements and plot. I’ve always asserted that the single most important element of any film is the story. The first thing you should always ascertain is: How original is the story? Are there classic themes present or any scenarios that reminded you of particular films? Is there a proper story arc that is appropriately completed by the film’s end?
“Have you ever wondered what goes on inside a person’s head?” the movie asks right off the bat. Up until now, no film—animated or non—has ever truly taken the opportunity to create an entire narrative that shows the thought process behind our constant actions. In that sense, this is Pixar’s most original film ever. And that is no exaggeration. You thought a monster factory that collects children’s screams or a rat with gourmet taste was original? Watch Inside Out and be blown away.
- Did the actors portray their characters accurately or effectively?
The voice acting in this film is perfect. I greatly admire Pixar’s ability to cast ideally. They never pursue celebrity voices for the sake of making the film appealing. Inside Out doesn’t boast a wide array of big-name star power. But as you’re watching it, it becomes readily apparent that Inside Out doesn’t need big-name star power. Each character works so effortlessly and effectively that you fall in love with each one’s unique personality.
- Avoid generalities. Some people may want just a quick “yay” or “nay” from a review, but there are plenty of reviews out there for people in a hurry (IMDB has short reviews galore). If you wish to truly convey to your readers precisely why you enjoyed or were displeased with a film, you should strive for being specific and avoiding generalizations. Most of your readers want to know why they’re shelling out their hard-earned cash. If you came out of a movie pumped with excitement, tell us what your experience contained that gave you such an adrenaline rush.
Brimming with warmth and cleverness, Inside Out is precisely the kind of film Pixar excels at making: totally and completely unique. With true-to-life and relatable scenarios, creative humor, no lack of emotional teary-eyed moments, and memorable characters made to adore, it’s no wonder this film is considered a contender for Best Picture at this year’s Academy Awards.
- Don’t try to sound overly prolific. The best reviews are the ones that people can understand and follow. Sound smart, but not pretentious. Use uncommon words, but only seldom. Make yourself sound knowledgeable, but don’t use gaudy words you wouldn’t typically use in a conversation. Remember, you are writing a movie review, not an AP exam essay.
Over the course of the film, you discover that happiness without the effect of some sadness or fear or anger easily becomes less meaningful; that, ultimately, happy experiences are only so because they’re not sad. Without experiencing sorrow, what makes a happy experience positive in the first place? The sadness we experience in life is often the precursor to more uplifting feelings.
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